Saturday 13 June 2009

Sat 13th June: Heavy Cross

Its just gone up on youtube so I can share the wealth of the gold-mining glittering spectacular that is the new Gossip video, styled by Nova Dando with the help of our L.A counterpart Brian Lichtenberg.  Here is a phone pic of Beth wearing a specially made headpiece by Nasir Mazhar and my gold discs on her wrist.  Nova had to pack and schlep the whole metallic wardrobe over to the West Coast for the shoot.  I would love to have seen a security scan of those bags!  

Friday 12 June 2009

Friday 12th June: We are only humans

I headed back to Dalston (against the advice of that terrible Razorlight song) for Tara Darby's new exhbition "We Are Only Humans".  I lived and worked in Dalston in the early 00's and I can't believe how much its changed since that time due to the railway refurbishment.  Its under going a major face-lift and looks like the Dozer's building site from Fraggle rock with the criss cross of crane's in the skyline.  
So luckily, the fast pace process and its inhabitants have been documented to capture this time in history and the evolving dermographic gear shift.  The gentrification from Bishopsgate is sweeping East like the locust plague and there is no going back.  But far be it from me to comment on this, I guess I have played my part.  (This blog is not a place to get political.........).

There is a mini upshot from the hole in the ground that has appeared on the high street.........its opened up the front of Tara's studio block so that the sunshine streams in the front windows.  The exhibition is in the downstairs gallery and it was a magic evening for all her friends, colleagues and subjects to congregate to celebrate the launch.  As always her images are beautiful and a great opportunity to see them in large print (with help from Touch Digital).  There is even a poster reproduced which I have put straight up in the studio..........
Congrats Tara, keep up the good work and finding time to maintain your personal projects and share them........

Friday 12th June: Venice Biennale by Anna Leader Final Installement

"And Wolfgang Tillmans .... was Wolfgang Tillmans"

So here ends Anna's thorough reportage from the Venice Biennale, thank you so much!

For some properly good photography:

Thursday 11 June 2009

Thurs 11th June: Holly Macdonald

My longest standing (long suffering) assistant to date, is Holly Macdonald who has spent the last year finishing off her degree in fashion product design at LCF.  Holly is reliably categorically hilarious and never turned down an opportunity to get dressed up in the name of research.  The only time I sensed a snapshot of shyness was when I packed her off to a casting for a Metronomy video and she returned shaking with a four pack of Fosters to get over the ordeal.  Although on that particular occasion she could not be convinced to shake her tail feather ..........I know a man that could possibly tempt her ...............the girl is obsessed with Prince.........

Q:  Inspiration?
A:  Christopher Kane for his constructed textiles, Jenny King for her embroidery, my sister for her ability to make scraps look beautiful, my mum* for her stock, you for aesthetic and technique.................I have a texture fetish?

Q:  Favorite Material?
A:  Vintage parachute silk.

Q:  Dream Client?
A:  Prince.  Tee hee any excuse.  I could make him something fabulous and purple?

Q:  Whats Next?:
A:  Something where I can talk ALL day  

*  Holly's mum is an exceptional Vintage Clothing/Textiles trader who can be found at Portabello Road Market, London and Snoopers Paradise, Brighton

Images of Holly's sketchbook, accessories collection as modelled by Addie and self portrait (you have to turn you head upside down to see hers............)

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Wednesday 10th June: GFW guest posting by Naomi Attwood

Whilst I was East, Naomi Attwood ventured west to report for me on Graduate Fashion Week.  I met Naomi when I went to give a lecture at LCF to the MA journalism class.  She writes for the college publication Pigeons & Peacocks aswell as listings website LeCool .................

Ravensbourne College GFW Show ‘09  Tuesday 9th June

Now off to Graduate Fashion Week in Earls Court, which is lovely – a great big auditorium, a lot less squashed than most of the venues at LFW proper and tiered seating, resulting in minimal neck craning for a clear view! Perfecto. A half hour spectacle, starting promptly no less, with 20 Ravensbourne graduates showing their collections back to back. This meant one could take on each designer’s big idea from a small but perfectly formed presentation before bam! The music changed and out came the next one.

So far so good, but what of the collections? Up first was menswear from Calum Harvey, who’d mixed materials such as tweed and plaid into his suiting, with several stand out jackets constructed from tulle layers or even wool pom-pomming for a huge collar.

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada style crazy shapes came from Kasia Bishop – including a beautiful ruffle-trimmed heart shaped dress in banana yellow.

Printing was a strong theme to emerge, from the paintbox-like pieces from Laura Yiannakou, who mixed grey garments with multi colours, splashes, streaks, stripes and scribbles all accessorized with double belts creating an obi silhouette.  

Illustrational prints were the focal point of Yasmin Siddiqui’s collection. The outfits were completed with stiff (canvas?) tabards printed with swirling black drawings which fastened at the back with giant bows and were styled with bright tights. Hayley Crompton followed a similar theme; monochrome prints resembling intricate woodcuts with primary splashes and yet more brilliant bright tights and shoes.   

Sian Lendrum’s collection was a parade of kimono like dresses, each in a different jewel bright hue, electric blue, violet, lime, - with a sheer black over shirt which gave an iridescent, beetle-like quality to the bold structural shapes.

Knitters were well represented and among the best of the show – Ruth Green with her stripey concoctions of fine and thick knitted dresses and leggings, Ayano Moriwake with multi-coloured, multi-patterned sweater dresses capes and cardigans. Analisa Dunn is a tutor on the course and even before I’d gleaned this piece of information the influence of Co op designs was quite evident.

Closing the show was another knitter, Hannah Taylor with her men’s jumbo sweaters and cardigan coats, each featuring fox and dog motifs and ingeniously styled with an enormous pom-pom headpiece complete with fox mask, plus other models in rainbow balaclavas and glittery winkle pickers. Her collection provided a peep into a wacky canine world, and ensured no one left the auditorium with out a smile on their face.

After the show there was time for a quick chat with frazzled looking Susie Bubble who has been going flat out with blanket coverage of GFW from her Style Bubble cubicle whilst trying to cram in her DAZED work between the shows. Phew! Susie agreed that Calum Harvey and Hannah Taylor had been the stand-out contributors to the show, although the standard was very high and it’ll be a surprise if some of the names don’t crop up at London fashion weeks in the future.

Wednesday 10th June: Jeanette's Block Party

Last evening London had a good taste of a proper block party with rum, reggae and latterly a police presence complete with purple plastic gloves as a prerequisite for a fashion party.  But the boys in blue didn't stop the city's fashion folk from enjoying themselves.  It was quite possibly one of the best 'do's' Ive been to, with the most people-watching fodder you can cram onto one cobbled street.  I intelligently forgot to charge my camera battery so missed capturing  the whole thing............... but I should think that Mandi will have it locked down, judging by her continual Nike manicured camera clicking.........
But I did manage to get these snaps of Louise Gray, who is selling at the shop (see dress below).  Here is also stylist Richard Sloan who moon-lighted as security, since London's resident door-whore is now the proprietor of his new namesake store (see neon sign).  Congrats Jeanette, its a beautiful boutique and one of the best openings I ever been to in London!  

Thanks to Tom for the invite to see Judy Blame's pieces now on sale at both Jeanettes and Child Of The Jago as of this week.  I think my favourite piece in the store was a black and white hand-sewn dress by Jessica see for yourself go to:

Entrance at Club Row
64-66 Redchurch Street
London E2 7DP

Opening hours:
Wed - Fri 11 am - 7 pm
Sat - Sun 11 am - 5 pm

Wednesday 10th June: Venice Biennale by Anna Leader Part III

"Representing New Zeland was london based artist Francis Uprichard whose exhibition entitled Save Yourself was a visionary landscape, alluding to the hallucinatory works of medieval artists like Hieronymus Bosch and Erasmus Grasser. The small scale sculptures were searchers, dreamers, dancers – consumed by acts of meditation or lost in reverie. Placed on table-like wooden platforms they overtooked the chambers of the slightly decadent Palazzo Mangilli-Valmarana allowing one to observe them at close hand."

"In a perhaps similar vein was Hans-Peter Feldmann's collection of automated bits of found objects that moved creating shadows on the opposing wall giving a totally new narrative. "

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Tuesday 9th June: Lauren Laverne is a living legend

(Lulu Guinness / Adam Wright automated birdcage bag with gold embroidery by Hand & Lock)

Last night I had the privilege of attending the 20th anniversary of Lulu Guinness at the V&A on behalf of Bishi who kindly gave me her ticket.  She had been invited by Lauren Laverne who was hosting the evening which was also the announcement of Lulu's Scholarship for the MA Artefact Design at LCF.  (This is a fantastic course taught by another mentor of mine, milliner Dai Rees).
I decided to deal with my debilitating shyness and introduce myself to Miss Laverne to thank her and also give her one of my accessories.  Not only was she totally down to earth, and gracious..........she was also genuinely grateful.  30 mins later I looked across the lawn and she had already put the clip straight in her hair.  It was quite a moment for me.  One of the only things that gets me through working the weekends, is her radio show on Sat afternoon.  Her voice has got me through the hard/dark times and now she is wearing the fruits of that labour!  Incredible.  No wonder she is such an authority on culture as she was earnestly inquisitive, asking me about my new projects without any prompting (not that would have happened anyway with my monosyllabic attempts at conversation!).  However, she was already up on my work from researching Bishi's wardrobe for the feature that she has written about upcoming female musicians in today's Grazia.   Here is Bishi wearing the gold peacock I made her for Salome.
A few of the other singers from the shoot attended the is Little Boots who I finally met with her stylist Stevie Westgarth.   When I spoke to my mum afterwards and tried to explain that Little Boots had been borrowing some of my accessories, she replied "oh you mean Victoria whats it.........whats it.........whats it.........Hesketh, yes Ive been reading about her".  Classic.  My mum is more on the ball than I give her credit for!  I hope I'm as up on youth culture when I'm of a certain age.............not meaning to write-off 60+ here!  Quite the opposite.  Respect.  

Tuesday 9th June: Venice Biennale by Anna Leader Part III

"Going along the lines of things lighting up in the dark was a lovely installation chinese artist Chu Yun in the Arsenale (the original shipyard of Venice that runs an impressive 316 meters long, housing the large curated exhibition Making Worlds by this years director Daniel Birnbaum).

 'Constellation' consisted of a pitch black room with literally a constellation of tiny different colored lights taking up the space. Thanks to the amount of photographers snapping away, it was revealed that the lights actually came from a plethora of standard household appliances positioned in random places in the room, much in the same way as they would be placed in a house.   (it did look better in real life!)"

"Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg made an Alice in Wonderland style overgrown plant jungle out of ceramic and rubber in the Palazzo delle Espoizione part of the Making Worlds exhibition. This became a dark entourage for her claymation (yes, I also didn't know that this was actually a term for clay-stop-motion) of short films that are "faux-na├»ve, graphically violent and erotic".

"Miranda July, writer, director and star of the film Me and You and Everyone We Know, presented a piece of work Eleven Heavy Things which were eleven outdoor sculptures made for one to pose with pedestals to stand on, tablets with holes for body parts, and free-standing headdresses with texts written on them such as "This is not the first hole my finger has been in, nor will it be the last"

Tuesday 9th June: Venice Biennale by Anna Leader Part II

"Second thing on the Fred list was a piece of work by Chilean artist Ivan Navarro rather morbidly entitled 'death row' consisting of thirteen aluminum doors with neon lights inside, arranged in such a way that each door created an optical illusion of looking into an endless tunnel. Hence the name I guess. 

Also in the room was a nifty bike attached to a chair made out of neon's that would light up when the wheels went round called 'resistance'. "

images: Anna Leader, designboom

Monday 8 June 2009

Monday 8th June: Venice Biennale by Anna Leader

Photographer and Artist Anna Leader went to the opening of the Venice Biennial to help her friend Noah Stolz set up the celebrations for the Swiss Pavilion.  So I jumped on the poor girl as soon as I found out, and asked her to be our roving reporter.  She has gone totally over board the gondola with the amount of homework so here is the start of an art onslaught.  
Apparently the predominant fashion sported by the opening crowd was "Ray-Bans and nipples"?!    Thanks for the sartorial insight Anna!  Oh, and thanks for the humorous anecdote to my drinking habit in the very first installment!  Seriously though, thank you so much for this, its the most high brow this blog has ever got!  Quality stuff right here...............

"Perhaps the best thing to start off with is the most Fred thing I saw at the Biennial, which was the bar. Not what we are all thinking - the bar/cafe was designed by German artist Tobias Rehberger who won the Golden Lion award for this work "What you love also makes you cry", which functions both as a restaurant and a multi-faceted artwork. Yep, mental and lovely. "

Image Christian Sinibaldi
Anna was only equipped with an analogue so her photos are from her phone or borrowed with credits where applicable.

Monday 8th June: Full Circle

The original design workings are still up on the studio wall and now I have got the KABIRI window display imagery back, I have united the two.   Job satisfaction.  LOVE Elisha-Smith Leverock's photography.  Thanks for letting me keep the print!

Sunday 7 June 2009

Sunday 7th June: Bishi Beauty

Quite possibly the most predictably well turned out ladies I have the pleasure to know.  Infact I have never seen her have an off-day.  Every time I either arrange to meet Bishi or bump into her in that London fate way, she is always immaculate, mesmerising and spectacular.  
As with the majority of my musical cohorts, we met via me contacting her through myspace to send her an accessory.   Here is the latest donation from my current collection with silk print designed by Brie Harrison.  Not one is the same as the origami fold results in each pattern turning out different for every single one.
I have decided to document Bishi's looks on my twitter............think I'm getting the hang of it?!